2 years ago
Did you know that laws still exist around the world today that exonerate alleged and convicted rapists if they marry their victims?
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Protests have cropped up in countries around the world, from Turkey to Lebanon to Morocco.
According to the World Bank, the Philippines, Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Kuwait, Libya, & Syria, have legal provisions stipulating that the perpetrator of rape or sexual assault can escape punishment by marrying the victim
There are also variations of these laws that exist in other parts of the world - for example, in Greece, Russia, Serbia, and Thailand an alleged rapist can avoid prosecution if the victim is underage, and in Singapore, Romania, Thailand and Turkey, if the victim "forgives" him.
These laws were back in the news recently after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas repealed that state's version of the legislation. It was a huge step forward, and came not long after a wave of other countries in the region did the same.
But there are still countries around the world with different variations of these laws still in place - and though the majority exist in the Middle East and Africa, the West isn't exempt. In fact, the legislation largely draws its roots to a 19th century French code.
So what countries still have these archaic laws?
In this episode of NowThis World Alex Janin is looking into these laws - how they came to be, how they're still hurting women, and whether the problem stops with repealing them.
Though variations of these laws have mostly died out in the West - Human Rights Watch researcher Rothna Begum says they largely originated from the French Napoleonic Code of 1810, which stated that if the kidnapper "married the girl whom he has stolen," the family could waive his criminal prosecution.
Watch this video and find out more!
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NowThis World is dedicated to bringing you topical explainers about the world around you. Each week we’ll be exploring current stories in international news, by examining the facts, providing historical context, and outlining the key players involved. We’ll also highlight powerful countries, ideologies, influential leaders, and ongoing global conflicts that are shaping the current landscape of the international community across the globe today.